Every house leaks a little heat, that’s just a fact of life. But some houses leak so much heat that it makes a significant impact on your energy consumption as you may need to increase the heat indoors to compensate for the cold, especially in the winter. That’s not great for your wallet or your direct environment.
In this article we’re counting down the Top 5. We’ll tell you where your house loses the most heat and what you can do to lessen heat loss.
5. Outlets and switches
Drafts that are coming from outlets and switches are a sign of a bigger problem. Somehow, there is cold air leaking into the walls of your house and into rooms through your outlets. A solution to outlet drafts is to plug them. You can get insulating covers called “foam gaskets” from Home Depot and they’re only about $2.
To really fix the problem, you should get a professional inspection from a home inspector. Hopefully they will be able to find the source of the draft and make recommendations on what to do.
And speaking of drafts…
It’s a lot easier to find drafts in the winter because of the drastic difference in temperature between the cold outside air and the warm inside air. But even though they might make an area feel really cold, drafts don’t make a huge impact on your heating bill.
There are lots of DIY, quick fixes for plugging up drafts. The most common places to find drafts are doors, windows, and fireplaces, but you can have a draft anywhere there is a hole in your floors, walls, or ceilings.
Are you ready to go on an air leak mission? Here’s a guide to Detecting Air Leaks from the U.S. Department of Energy.
3. The Windows
There are all sorts of numbers being thrown around the internet for how much you save on your heating bills when you have excellent window coverings. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “When drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%,” but every house is unique.
Go ahead and get some nice, thick curtains because if you go from entirely bare windows to snug-fitting, thick curtains, you will see lower heating costs.
In the wintertime, think of your curtains like a jacket for your windows. Make sure they form seals around the edges and that they aren’t left open.
Not a fan of curtains? Find more energy-saving window covering ideas here.
2. The Roof
Heat rises, so it makes sense that when warm air escapes from your house, it goes out the top. Your house vents a lot of hot air out the roof, mainly due to the fact that hot air rises up, but this isn’t the number one cause of heat loss. It loses heat through leaks or holes. And now for the Number 1 place your house loses the most heat:
1. The Walls
The place your house loses the most heat is also the hardest to do anything about! Your home loses 35% of its heat through the walls.
Adding more insulation means stripping your walls down to the studs or poking holes in it to add expanding foam insulation. Both of these are very costly jobs, and probably not worth it. If you’re going to spend money to prevent heat loss, put those dollars toward attic insulation.